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How I got my first freelancing job as VBA coder

It actually took me a while before I got my first freelancing job.

I'm very good with MS Office applications. I've been writing VBA macros for 2 years for Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access. So, usually I handle simple things like processing, generating reports, forms, etc.

I worked in a big software organization as a developer and that gave me a lot of free time to do other things on the side.
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My friends talked to me about making money online through freelancing and I decided to give it a try. The first place I chose to work was at Freelancer, maybe because of its name. It didn't take too long before I disliked everything about Freelancer. They changed their policies very often and controlled everything, making the platform a very difficult place to work.

I learned about Upwork and wasn't sure if I should waste my time on it. In the end, I decided again to try because I read a lot of good reviews about them.

I checked jobs relating to my skills every day. I tried to apply for one of such jobs one day and was surprised that there were 90 applicants chasing this job with a cost of $5! I immediately felt disappointed. How was a new person like me to get a job where there are 89 old, experienced applicants?

For the first month, I did not apply for such jobs at all. There was no way I could beat the other 89 applicants. Yet, jobs with less amount of applicants were either too difficult for me to handle or required skills I did not have or willing to learn.

This was the best time to quit altogether, but I decided to check out the jobs that attracted at least 90 applicants. On a closer look, I discovered that 90% of the about 90 people who applied for such jobs, did not even possess the skills required to do the job at all. They were either assistants, admins, testers and graphic designers.

That changed my thinking and made me a little excited. I started to see only about 8 or 9 out of the 90 applicants as my real competition.

Because of my English is not that good, so I don't necessarily possess the skills to write excellent cover letters. But I did the following trick, I carefully studied the job request, downloaded and studied the attached files which the client wanted to parse and did exactly what the client requested.

how to get your first job on odeskMy cover letter was very simple. Sort of: 'Hello Sir, parsed files attached. Please let me know if you need further modifications. Thank you.' That simple.

That was it. That was what landed me my first win and earned me my first $5 online, despite all the other numerous applicants. I was so pleased that finally I could make money online. If to be 100% honest, actually I spent 7 hours to complete this 'simple' job for $5 :), but it was worth it.


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